Rendered still from Logjam animation, 3D animation, 24 minutes, 2010. Courtesy the artist.
Logjam asks the viewer to contemplate the cyclical process of death and rebirth, while also discovering the calming effect of chaos. To accomplish this, Beck designed the animation to be studied like a moving painting that is meant to appear simultaneously solemn and hypnotic.
A logjam is how a river communicates that it has lost its patience—that it has been pushed beyond its physical limitations as a source of life and power. It is a stopped moment in time—a point at which the river holds its breath in frustration before once again letting it out in a panicked frenzy of activity. But in the Logjam animation, that moment is suspended in time, shifting back and forth repeatedly, between victory and defeat. By visually focusing on the historical relationship between the environment and the logging industry, the artist intends that the viewer question exactly what is truly dying in Logjam’s continuous symbiosis between humanity and nature.
Dave Beck is a practicing 3D digital and new media artist, living in Wisconsin.
Logjam was created as a result of a residency at the St. Croix Watershed Research Station with the Science Museum of Minnesota.